If you watched Chris Anderson's TED talk, you'll remember this phrase – “crowd accelerated innovation.” Chris explains that you need three things to advance innovation: a crowd, light and desire. “The bigger the crowd, the more innovators there are.” By light, he means “you need clear, open visibility of what the best people in that crowd are capable of because that is how you will be empowered to participate.” And finally, “innovation is hard work… absent desire, it's not going to happen.”
I think about these words when I see photos from talented teenagers like Alex Stoddard or Alison Titus (who's featured here). What these teens have done is learn their skills through Flickr. By interacting with others, getting feedback and being exposed to visually stunning imagery, they've formed their own, personal style that's unique and interesting.
Here is how her work is impacting others (this is a comment from one of her many fans):
“Allie's photostream is the account of a sensitive and creative teenage photographer. However, this is no kid's art. Allie is an important artist in the making. Her images document her world with a budding professional's talent and the critical eye of an artist. With a background in dance, she is keenly aware of form and the body's lines and it shows in her compositions. She is as comfortable in-front of the camera as behind it.
“A clear standout among a new generation of creative young Flickr photographers, her images are personal but not narcissistic. Allie is really something special, she records light and her life as she finds it, albeit beautifully.”
I got in touch with this talented teen to ask her a few questions. Read that short interview below.
When did you start taking photos?
I started taking snapshots on my parents' point and shoots about four years ago, but I didn't begin taking pictures seriously until the spring of 2009.
Who are some other Flickr or professional photographers that have inspired you?
There are so many people who inspire me, but just to name a few: nikolinelr, Elle Hardwick, Olivia Bee, Lauren Withrow, Tim Walker, and Gemma Booth.
When you look back at all of your photos, which one do you like the most and why?
This is a really difficult one to answer! There isn't any photo that stands out as a clear winner in my mind – however I think my most recent favorite is this one because I love the mood/tones and it has more emotion and expression than most of my photos.
How hard is it to come up with different self-portraits?
It is incredibly difficult to come up with different self-portraits, especially for my 365. I have a very hard time trying to think of an original idea every day, and I've often said that I just can't take a good picture two days in a row – I need time in between to think and get inspired again.
What do you love most about photography?
Photography is like a therapy for me; when I'm upset or angry my mood can completely turn around by getting a really good photo for the day. It's just so satisfying when I'm able to create an image I really love, although it works in the opposite direction too – days where I just can't take a good photo put me in pretty rotten moods.
See more of Allie's beautiful photos at Flickr.